How to Setup Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander to Compile Android ROMs

— If you are looking for a ready-to-go Virtual Machine based on these instructions, check out my post here!

Initializing a fresh Android Build Environment in Ubuntu 13.10 sucks, right? The instructions at the AOSP page are outdated and inaccurate. Near as I can tell, they try to have you install 2 JDKs, the first one not even being the correct link for Saucy Salamander, and the second being OpenJDK. Which might work. But I dunno about all that, I’d rather have Oracle’s official stamp when it comes to building for Android.

Currently most of the guides are up to 12.04 LTS, which is fine and dandy, but being on the cutting edge is nice too.

This guide applies to all variations of Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander 64 bit. Do not use the 32 Bit version. Also, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION when to use “sudo” and when to not. It can make things funky if you do something as root that you shouldn’t.

Much thanks goes out to Google, ProTekk, Canonical, and everyone else that I read a random paragraph here and snippet there.

First, let’s set up the correct JDK.

Many of you probably have some kind of wrong Java installed unless you’re starting with a fresh Ubuntu base, and even then maybe.

Let’s get rid of that. Copy and paste this into a Terminal window:

sudo apt-get purge openjdk-* icedtea-* icedtea6-*

Follow the instructions to remove OpenJDK. If you must keep it, it’s possible. But I’m not going to tell you how to do it here. I don’t want any chance of confusion or mistake.

Now copy and paste the following into the Terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

This will add the correct PPA to your system for updated builds of Java 6 JDK that are compatible with 13.10. No more unrecognized Java version errors! And it will update automatically with the rest of your system.

Next, we actually need to install the package. More copy-paste:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-java6-installer

Follow the on-screen instructions. You have to Accept the Licensing Agreement to complete the install. Hopefully no human centipede clauses.

Let’s make sure the correct version of Java is activated, run the following Terminal command:

java -version

You should see something like the following:

java version “1.6.0_45”
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_45-b06)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.12-b01, mixed mode)

Ok, back to a fresh Terminal prompt. Time for installing the guts to build stuff in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg ccache lzop flex bison gperf build-essential zip curl zlib1g-dev zlib1g-dev:i386 libc6-dev lib32ncurses5 lib32z1 lib32bz2-1.0 lib32ncurses5-dev x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev:i386 libreadline6-dev:i386 lib32z-dev libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libgl1-mesa-dev g++-multilib mingw32 tofrodos python-markdown libxml2-utils xsltproc readline-common libreadline6-dev libreadline6 lib32readline-gplv2-dev libncurses5-dev lib32readline5 lib32readline6 libreadline-dev libreadline6-dev:i386 libreadline6:i386 bzip2 libbz2-dev libbz2-1.0 libghc-bzlib-dev lib32bz2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libesd0-dev squashfs-tools pngcrush schedtool libwxgtk2.8-dev python

When that is done installing, run the following command in your Terminal window:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

That’s it on the package side of things.

You guessed it, time for more Terminal. This really is the easiest way, seriously. And it’s totally worth it when you’re basking in the glory of a bunch of people on XDA.

The binary for a program called “repo” will let you talk to git servers and download all that precious source code. That second part after the && allows it to be executable:

mkdir ~/bin && curl > ~/bin/repo && chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Use your favorite text editor to open ~/.bashrc

I like nano:

sudo nano ~/.bashrc

At the very bottom, add the following line:

export PATH=~/bin:$PATH

Save it. In nano that would be Ctrl-O and then Enter. Then Ctrl-X to exit back to a prompt. Restart bash:

source ~/.bashrc

In the terminal, navigate to where you would like to store the Android source code. The directions below will make it in your home folder, but if you have limited space, you may want to create it somewhere else. Faster is better, i.e. SSD would be best, USB external is basically unusable. Here we go:

mkdir ~/android
cd ~/android

Now you’re going to initialize the repo. Here’s where you decide the flavor of Android you want to build for, ie AOKP, CyanogenMod, AOSP etc. The following, for the purposes of this tutorial, will initialize for AOKP Jellybean MR-2:

repo init -u git:// -b jb-mr2

Almost there. Last step, but it’s a doozy.  You’re going to get the source. Prepare yourself, mere mortal. 10+ GB of downloading await you. Don’t worry, it’s automated. Go to sleep. Eat something. Perhaps you have heard of this new thing the kids are doing called “going outside”? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Me neither. Hey everyone, it’s a terminal:

repo sync

Check back periodically every hour or so. It really all depends on how fast your connection is.

That should be everything. Now you’re ready to build Android the right way. Luck!

If you like my project, feel free to buy me a coconut water (donate). It would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Thank you – I wasn’t trying to build android but clementine-player and getting “Could NOT find OpenGL (missing: OPENGL_gl_LIBRARY)” but your link “sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/” adjusted to 64-bit “sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/” did the trick – ta v much!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial on saucy
    But I got stuck at this

    “The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 : Depends: libdrm2:i386 (>= 2.3.1) but it is not going to be installed
    Recommends: libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 (>= 7.2) but it is not going to be installed”

    FYI: I have bumblebee installed coz of nvidia optimus. Is it possible to skip this package?

    1. Give it a shot and let me know how it works out. It should work, but you never know with Android compiling until you try. Good luck!

      I don’t have a laptop to test it on, but I’ve used bumblebee and I feel like it won’t adversely affect things.

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